Generally, men haven’t really been in-charge of birth control, which we think is unfair for both men and women. Why should the onus be only on women and why should men have no control on this extremely important part of sex? German carpenter Clemens Bimek is trying to change that now with only a flip of a switch.
Named after the inventor, the Bimek SLV, a spermatic duct valve functions like a vasectomy, but is not permanent. The website says, “One valve is mounted on each spermatic duct which disrupts the flow of sperm cells when closed. The user is then sterile, can wear the Bimek SLV for a life time and regulate it himself with just a flip of a switch. Taking any hormones or medication is unnecessary, for both men and women.”
The switch, Bimek says, is “as small as a gummy bear” and weighs only two grams. It can be felt through the scrotum skin and switched on or off. The device also comes with an additional safety feature which prevents the switch from being flipped on accidentally. It is made of material which is biocompatible and durable. The makers claim that it is also completely safe for people with allergies, and it also doesn’t have any adverse effects on the sperm.
Implanting the Bimek SLV involves a detailed medical examination and a 30-minute surgery under local anaesthesia. After the Bimek SLV is implanted, sperm cells can be present in ejaculatory fluids for about three months or 30 ejaculations. The inventors recommend a follow-up sperm analysis with a urologist to be 100% sure that the Bimek SLV is working.
If you think you might want babies in the future but don’t want them yet, the Bimek SLV seems to be the perfect solution. It doesn’t need you to remember anything except flipping a switch and doesn’t put any hormones in your body.
It may sound like a dream come true but there is a catch. But the Bimek SLV isn’t officially medically approved yet and clinical trials will start this year, with an expected investment of around $5.5 million. According to the website, Bimek hopes to make the device available on the market by 2018.
We can only hope that this device does everything it promises to do, and can rid us of the pill reminders on our phones and the regular home pregnancy tests.